NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke seeking redemption as his side travel to Kettering

Striker Dubi Ogbonna could return from injury when St Ives go to Kettering tomorrow. Picture: LOUISE

Striker Dubi Ogbonna could return from injury when St Ives go to Kettering tomorrow. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON - Credit: Archant

Ricky Marheineke will aim to avenge the worst moment of his managerial career tomorrow.

St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke.

St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke. - Credit: Archant

Marheineke takes his St Ives Town team to Kettering for a Southern League Premier Division clash.

Saints were thumped 7-0 by the Poppies in the reverse fixture in early November – a result which left them in the relegation zone and could quite easily have led to the end of Marheineke’s reign at ProEdge Westwood Road.

Instead, it proved to be a positive turning point in the club’s first season at Step 3 level.

St Ives put together an unbeaten run for the rest of 2016 which carried them into the safety of mid-table – a position they’ve maintained since the turn of the year.

Speaking ahead of the trip to Latimer Park, Marheineke said: “I don’t think I’ll ever forget the defeat against Kettering. I certainly didn’t sleep that night.

“It was a terrible day which brought a fair few issues to a head, but we managed to turn a dreadful result into a key moment in our season in a positive way.

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“The response from the players was excellent as they put together a run of results which lifted us into a very good position.

“We’re much more sound defensively now and we have cut out a lot of the individual errors we were making.

“The challenge now is to become a bit more ruthless in front of goal and hopefully we can do that on Saturday to get a result at Kettering.

“We’ve never been an open and expansive side, and we don’t expect to be up there among the highest-scorers in the division, but we have proved we can compete with virtually all teams at this level.”

In fact, only four teams have scored fewer goals than St Ives in the Premier Division and three of those are in the bottom four.

St Ives will be considerably more dangerous if striker Dubi Ogbonna returns from a knee injury, which has sidelined him for several weeks, tomorrow.

Kettering manager Marcus Law now finds himself under pressure. His side have lost their last three games and faded out of play-off contention.